LaFontaine Automotive Group’s LED Upgrade

For a thriving business like LaFontaine Automotive Group, the future isn’t sitting off in the distance. It’s right now; every decision made plays a factor in growth and competition in a competitive industry in the heart of the automotive industry. Surrounded by generations of auto workers, quality, professionalism, and great customer service all count for a lot, and offering an unforgettable experience for every customer isn’t negotiable.

That’s why LaFontaine works each and every day to shape their seventeen dealerships in Southeast Michigan into efficient, cost-effect locations that are in a position to pass savings onto customers. It’s why LaFontaine became the first Gold LEED-certified auto dealership in the state of Michigan and has since expanded to include another Gold-certified dealership alongside two Silver certified locations as well. Their Green Movement shows the comprehensive commitment to a greener future.

Based on LaFontaine’s impeccable reputation in sustainability, we were eager to get started with their lighting project earlier this summer. It was nothing short of ambitious; never one for half measures, the project called to update the lighting systems of all seventeen locations to get the very most out of the investment. We sent our teams out to survey what lighting was in place and to help determine the unique needs of each location.

We found hundreds of outdated lighting fixtures that were costing a lot of energy- and money- to operate. And it wasn’t a single sort of fixtures we were looking at; the old metal halide lights consisted of a combination of pole lights, wall packs, canopy lights, soffit lights, flag lights and building floods ranging up to 1,000W per lamp. 1,000 Watts is a lot of power, even for a power flood light, and with our work, we were certain we could make some big changes that would save a lot of energy.

Our technicians used new LED fixtures for each campus’ external lighting systems, with each fixture offering the same or more about of light with substantially lower electrical demands. But that equipment was just one piece of the puzzle. As a part of the LED upgrade, we incorporated a mix of occupancy sensors, auto-dimming and remote control tools that allow for staff to control the entire lighting system from anywhere on campus via computer or mobile phone!

It’s easy to imagine that such a big project is just too cost prohibitive, but we were able to make the most of existing programs to reduce the cost. Michigan Saves’ 1.99/2.99% finance offer was the first step, and the scale of the LaFontaine LED upgrade made it one of the largest MISaves projects yet in the automotive industry. Financing taken care of, LaFontaine also qualified for a $50,000 rebate from the DTE Custom Rebate Program.

Of course, the really impressive savings will come from the upgrade itself. The light installations will save approximately 1,702,874 kWh per year, which will reduce electric costs by nearly $200,000 for LaFontaine. That’s the amount of electrical energy used to power 190 homes annually!

We loved the challenge offered by a project of this scale, but we also relish the opportunity to help companies make a smart investment in their future. The commitment to sustainability benefits the bottom line, but it also benefits the entire community by reducing waste, emissions, and an unnecessary drain on resources. We can do the same for you; contact Keen to make the big change that will keep your company competitive, smart, and sustainable.